“I want all South Koreans to believe with confidence that there will be no war”, he told a press conference marking his first 100 days in office.
“I call upon the North Korean government: without global cooperation and co-existence economic development is impossible”, said Moon.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in previously defended the joint exercises as legitimate drills of a defensive nature, while condemning North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations as illegal.
Even though next week’s exercises are more simulated and present a lesser threat than Foal Eagle Key Resolve, “from the North Korean, perspective, (they are) still a major military provocation”, said Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing.
President Moon, a former human-rights lawyer whose parents left North Korea during the Korean War, took power in May after nine years of conservative rule that ended in an impeachment trial for the ex-president amidst a sprawling corruption scandal.
But his efforts have been met with a string of threats and missile tests as the North works to build nuclear-armed missiles that can reach the US mainland.
“We can’t afford to lose everything that we’ve built from the ruins of the Korean War”.
“A dialogue between South and North Korea must resume”.
Seoul’s 10 million people are within firing range of North Korea’s artillery, and would be likely to suffer the brunt of the first retaliatory blows in a US strike.
“The United States and President Trump have already promised to sufficiently consult with South Korea and get our approval for whatever option they will take against North Korea”.
On Wednesday, South Korea’s largest opposition party, Liberty Korea, expanded its official party programme to call for United States nuclear weapons to be stationed on South Korean soil.
Gen. Joseph Dunford said Thursday that he has advised US leadership not to “dial back” joint war games with South Korea that are due to begin next week despite threats from North Korea.
Both exercises, according to US Forces Korea, are created to “highlight the longstanding military partnership” between the two countries and improve stability and security on the Korean Peninsula.
“I don’t think we must rush into it”, he said.
Only then could Seoul consider sending an envoy to the North, he added.
U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, left, talks with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo during their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. The liquid-fuel missile is created to be fired from road mobile launchers and has been described by North Korea as built for attacking Alaska and Hawaii. “With his trash war talk, Trump makes me wonder what’s the use of the alliance”.
“The government, putting everything on the line, will block war by all means”, Moon said in a televised speech on Tuesday to mark the 72nd anniversary of the country’s liberation from Japanese occupation. South Korea vowed to retaliate, and the two Koreas exchanged artillery and rocket fire over the border during Ulchi-Freedom Guardian after South Korea began broadcasting propaganda messages over the border to the north and North Korea responded by turning on its own loudspeakers. He warned last week that the American military is “locked and loaded” and that the Kim regime would feel the United States military’s “fire and fury” if it attacked.
Kim on Monday inspected North Korea’s army and received a briefing on its plans to fire missiles near Guam, official media said.